Derek Hay Pleads Guilty to Perjury, Conspiracy

LOS ANGELES—Derek Hay, the founder of adult talent agency LA Direct Models, on Tuesday entered guilty pleas to felony counts of perjury and conspiracy to commit pandering as part of a plea agreement in a Los Angeles court for a case against him and two co-defendants originally brought in 2020 by then-California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

A total of 12 felony counts were initially filed against Hay and his co-conspirators, but current California AG Rob Bonta secured a new grand jury indictment in September of 2022 that brought more charges, including counts of pimping, pandering, conspiracy, money laundering and perjury. Hay was arraigned on the grand jury indictment in March 2023.

Hay and his co-defendants are due for sentencing on July 17; he could be remanded that day. The judge noted Tuesday that Hay is likely to face two years probation and up to 270 days incarceration in a county jail.

Hay's attorney Richard Freeman had not responded to multiple requests for comment as of post time.

Hay's legal troubles date back to 2018 when attorney Allan B. Gelbard, who was present at Tuesday's court hearing, filed a complaint against LA Direct Models before the California Labor Commissioner's Office.

During the labor hearings throughout 2019, several women, identified as "Jane Does," accused Hay and LA Direct Models of violating the Talent Agencies Act. The "Jane Does" eventually identified themselves as Charlotte Cross, Shay Evans, Sofi Ryan, Andi Rye and Hadley Viscara—all once represented by Hay and his talent agency.

AVN reported in 2020 that Labor Commissioner hearing officer Patricia Salazar found for the five models, ruling that Hay violated the law when he withheld commission payments to the performers.

Hay was ordered to pay back the commissions, including attorney fees and court costs. Freeman told AVN at the time that he immediately filed an appeal for trial de novo in the Los Angeles Superior Court. Gelbard told AVN that he believes the immediate plea deal for the felony counts would not bode well for Hay and Freeman in any new trial over the Labor Commissioner's rulings.

"[M]any more of the legal issues are resolved, we have way more incriminating evidence, and [Hay]'s a convicted perjuror," explained Gelbard. 

Charlotte Cross released a statement to AVN in reaction to the pleas. 

"I hope that the outcome of this case will usher in the beginning of a new era, where everyone in the adult industry can become far more scrupulous of agents, managers, and anyone else exerting control over a performer’s livelihood," Cross said, adding that the plea deal is a "massive relief."

AVN has covered Derek Hay's case extensively over the years.